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Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media 96-07-23

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory

TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.132/96 23.7.96


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey says commanders' meeting in Cyprus is an `appropriate start'

  • [02] Denktash meets Feissel, discuss demilitarization issues

  • [03] Serdar Denktash assigned to form a new "government"

  • [04] Bulent Ecevit in the occupied area

  • [05] Letters to US Congressmen by the so-called Washington representative

  • [06] Turkish underground organization reportedly tries to influence British holiday-makers

  • [07] Erbakan: Turkish Cypriots need Turkey as much as Turkey needs the Turkish Cypriots

  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Erbakan on ties with US


  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey says commanders' meeting in Cyprus is an `appropriate start'

    According to Anatolia news agency (14:42 hours, 22.7.96) Sermet Atacanli, director of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Information Department, said on Monday that a meeting of so-called "TRNC Peace Forces", "Security Forces" commanders, Greek Cypriot National Guard commander, and the UN peace forces commanders would be an appropriate start.

    Atacanli told a weekly news conference that one of the most important aspects of the solution of Cyprus problem was to know who the other one was, who he was addressed to, and added: "There are two societies in the island and this will be an appropriate start within this framework".

    Recalling that the Cyprus issue was basically a matter of the two communities living in Cyprus, Atacanli said Turkey supported peaceful talks on the issue.

    [02] Denktash meets Feissel, discuss demilitarization issues

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 22.7.96) Rauf Denktash has met with Gustave Feissel, the UN Secretary-General's assistant special representative in Cyprus, and conferred with him for some time.

    In a short statement following the meeting, Denktash said that Feissel conveyed his views on demilitarizing the "borders" and demilitarization issues in general. Noting that they will assess these views, Denktash added that the UN representative also conducted a general assessment on the contacts held with Han Sung-chu, UN secretary general's special representative in Cyprus.

    In his statement, Feissel said that be briefed Denktash on the recent developments.

    [03] Serdar Denktash assigned to form a new "government"

    IBRIS (23.7.96) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, has assigned his son Serdar Denktash, leader of the Democratic Party (DP), to form the so-called government.

    Serdar Denktash said that they will continue the consultations initiated three weeks ago with the National Unity Party (NUP) with a view to establishing a so-called coalition government, and that if agreement is reached with the NUP, he will ask his father to assign, NUP leader Eroglu to establish the so-called government. (MY)

    [04] Bulent Ecevit in the occupied area

    According to KIBRIS (23.7.96), the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) in Turkey, Bulent Ecevit, who in 20 July 1974 as Turkish Prime Minister ordered the Turkish troops to invade and occupy part of Cyprus, will be arriving in the occupied area today to take part at the panel discussion "Face to Face", organized by the TGRT television of Turkey and in which Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash as well will participate. (MY)

    [05] Letters to US Congressmen by the so-called Washington representative

    KIBRIS (23.7.96) reports that the so-called Washington representative of the pseudostate, Namik Korhan, has sent letters to the US Congressmen on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation.

    Korhan alleged that the biggest obstacle before a settlement in Cyprus is Greek Cypriot intransigence, as he put it.

    In his letter sent to 535 members of the US Congress, Korhan repeated the known Turkish views that aim at covering up the invasion, the occupation and the violation of human rights in Cyprus by Turkey and the Turkish occupation forces. (MY)

    [06] Turkish underground organization reportedly tries to influence British holiday-makers

    KIBRIS (23.7.96) London correspondent Serhat Incirli reports that a Turkish underground organization, "The Turkish Action Group (TAG), has started distributing pamphlets in which its asks British holiday-makers who want to visit the government controlled free areas to "think about it twice."

    With a view to impressing the British holiday-makers, the TAG pamphlet refers to the Greek Cypriot struggle against British colonial role during 1955-1959 and the Cyprus government's attempt to strengthen its defences against the Turkish occupation forces.

    Incirli reports that the British Police is concerned over the TAG activities. (MY)

    [07] Erbakan: Turkish Cypriots need Turkey as much as Turkey needs the Turkish Cypriots

    According to Turkish Daily News (22.7.96), Turkey's Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan assured the pseudostate of Ankara's "stepped up" support to overcome its economic woes and political isolation amid signs that the Cyprus policy of Ankara is undergoing an overhaul.

    "I came to show you that the motherland Turkey is always by your side,"Erbakan told cheering crowds in occupied Nicosia at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, while the top brass of the new Islamists-led Turkish government accompanying the prime minister complained in private of the "mistakes" of the former Turgut Ozal and Tansu Ciller governments vis-a-vis the Cyprus problem. "It's impossible to understand how spending few hundred million dollars for the Turkish Cypriot people over the past two decades could be a burden on Turkey. Put aside everything, Cyprus is like a huge aircraft carrier only 300 miles away from Israel. Even if Turkey spent billions of dollars for Turkish Cypriots, that would be an expenditure for a right reason", a senior member of the Erbakan team said, making use of the traditional anti-Israel rhetoric of the Welfare Party. According to the paper, Erbakan's team was confused by what they saw on the island. Such a small population, such a small territory and such poverty. "This situation cannot happen all its own. Someone must have done it intentionally. It appears that everything has been done to make sure that northern Cyprus should not prosper. Instead of building their policies on what the Europeans or the Americans said and what would be the implications on Turkey's relations with the European Union, the former governments should have applied a comprehensive program and shown the world how an isolated island economy could prosper. That's what we are going to do. Turkey is rich and powerful enough to make northern Cyprus prosper," one Welfare source said according to the paper.

    Erbakan, perhaps sounding the same policy with a different wording, declared after observing a parade of the military that Turkish Cypriots needed Turkey as much as Turkey needed Turkish Cypriots.

    While Erbakan was declaring publicly the commitment of his administration to peace and stability on the island, his senior men were saying to reporters that the Cyprus problem had been solved with the 1974 Turkish invasion on the island and that if there were people unhappy with that settlement, they should propose alternative settlement plans and compromise rather than asking for compromises from the Turkish Cypriot side. And the paper continues:

    "As protest church bells were chiming on the other side of the Nicosia green line that divides the island from east to west into northern Turkish Cypriot and southern Greek Cypriot zones, Erbakan was pouring out pledge after pledge to Turkish Cypriots. He did not vow to bring the sea to Nicosia, but he vowed to solve the severe water shortage of Turkish Cypriots. `We shall do whatever possible to convert northern Cyprus into an evergreen country', he told the water-thirsty Turkish Cypriots roasting under over 45 degrees in the shade.

    Industrialization... No problem for Erbakan. He told Turkish Cypriots that every measure would be taken to convince Turkish industrialists to invest in northern Cyprus. He said customs procedures and tax laws would all be reviewed and investors in northern Cyprus would be provided with lucrative incentives. `Turkey is rich and strong enough to eradicate all problems of our Turkish Cypriot brethren' Erbakan repeatedly said during his visit."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Erbakan on ties with US

    Sedat Ergin in a commentary in HURRIYET (21.7.96) under the title "Erbakan Proposed the Jordanian Model to the United States", writes: "`Their feet started touching the ground.' This is how Prime Minister Professor Necmettin Erbakan began recounting his meeting with Ambassador Madeleine Albright, who brought US President Bill Clinton's special message the previous night.

    Erbakan went on to say: `They started realizing that they will not be able to obtain any results with pressure. Having seen that their attitude changed.'

    While Erbakan was uttering these words, the plane taking the Turkish delegation to the `TRNC' had already flown over the Pentadaktylos, where the Peace Operation was launched on the morning of 20 July, 22 years ago.

    During our conversation in the plane, Erbakan referred to the 'American pressures' and seemed to be taking an account of Turkish-American relations when he said: 'Relations exist between the nations. With its mistakes in the last 20 years, America has brought about a lessening in the Turkish people's sympathy towards it'.

    These critical remarks mostly reflect his attempt to settle accounts with the United States. A political leader who throughout his career has challenged the United States and established his political jargon along anti-Western lines is now, as a prime minister, receiving special representatives bringing the American President's messages.

    This picture is indicative of the point reached in the settling of accounts with the United States. It is obvious that he is getting pleasure out of finally having made himself acceptable to the United States. For example, he is not hiding the pleasure he felt from the tone of Clinton's letter when he says: `It is a warm message. He is indicating a desire to establish good relations with us.'

    However, this warm start has also brought out the dichotomy into which Erbakan has fallen. On one hand, there is the strong position Erbakan has gained vis-a-vis the United States and on the other, the flexibility it is showing in the face of American demands. Not long ago, just four years earlier, Erbakan had said the following on the Hammer Force at the Turkish Parliament: Its name is Greater Armenia force. This the second Sevres force. It is an occupation force. Its aim is to push Muslims to butcher each other. We say `Go Home' to the Americans.

    Judging from Albright's statement the previous night, Erbakan has not been able to say `Go Home' to the American delegation concerning the Hammer Force. In stating that 'the sides agreed on the continuation of the Hammer Force' the American ambassador was revealing that Erbakan has told her only `you may stay here, but...'

    When reminded of Albright's words on the plane yesterday, Erbakan said `no' and added: `The decision on this issue will be taken by the parliament. We are pushing the parliament's will to the forefront. Just like our ambassadors in the United States go to the Congress to persuade the committees, their ambassadors in turn will come to our parliament on Monday and will try to convince the foreign relations commission.'

    Erbakan then revealed an interesting detail concerning his meeting with Albright. He said: `At present there is the evil of terrorism in Turkey due to the poverty in the southeast, unemployment among the young, and the trade embargo against Iraq. The prime minister then revealed the demand he put to the American delegation: `The facilities recognized to Jordan should also be recognized to Turkey. Article 50 of the UN Charter recognized privileges to those countries whose economies suffer because of UN sanctions. The United States allowed Jordan to benefit from this article to trade with Iraq. We want this article to be applied in our case too.'

    The meaning of these words are obvious: Erbakan is trying to balance out his flexibility on the Hammer Force with the United States' concessions on the Jordanian model. Erbakan is trying to establish a bargain with the United States on this foundation.

    I had began my article with Erbakan's statement that `their feet started touching the ground.' I realized at the end of our conversation yesterday that others' feet too are touching the ground."

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